Definition of expendable in English:



  • 1Of relatively little significance, and therefore able to be abandoned or destroyed.

    ‘the region is expendable in the wider context of national politics’
    • ‘Both were more or less expendable from his point of view.’
    • ‘Where he may have erred is in adding the stress and strain of another job when others could have carried it out just as well, others who were, perhaps, more expendable.’
    • ‘We are expendable pawns in a political chess game, and we resent the very real damage they do to us every single day.’
    • ‘She could have at least made an effort at candidness, but Mike reckoned once you'd been to the other side, sincerity was an expendable commodity.’
    • ‘They were weak, expendable with relatively little power in the committee structure.’
    • ‘Millions of people - who have suffered decades of war and sanctions - are once again used as expendable stakes in an imperial gambit by the rich and powerful.’
    • ‘Jacob knew he was expendable once he was inside the container.’
    • ‘Political pundits knew that he was politically expendable, but few expected him to be expended so quickly.’
    • ‘The main victims were overwhelmingly ill-educated working-class boys and therefore expendable.’
    • ‘Coaches are often treated as utterly expendable.’
    • ‘What makes some art expendable and some art permanent?’
    • ‘In this scandalous era, savvy operatives like him are expendable.’
    • ‘The group was seen as inferior and therefore expendable.’
    • ‘Sure, people will see movies regardless of a reviewer's opinion, but this does not make critics expendable, as you infer in your letter.’
    • ‘It used to be that the Vice President was expendable, relatively unimportant and rather decorative.’
    • ‘To treat the resultant civilian casualties as ‘regrettable but inevitable’ is to regard innocent lives as expendable.’
    • ‘The harsh reality of military life is that the guy would have to be someone relatively expendable.’
    • ‘Therefore, we were expendable and they made sure we knew it.’
    • ‘Once the film has killed off all its expendable characters, it spends far too much time trying to explain the source of the evil cell phones.’
    • ‘These points appear to have been manufactured with expediency, and they were therefore likely expendable.’
    dispensable, able to be sacrificed, replaceable
    disposable, throwaway, one use, single-use, replaceable
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    1. 1.1 (of an object) designed to be used only once and then abandoned or destroyed.
      ‘unmanned and expendable launch vehicles’
      • ‘Just a few miles away, the company works on another expendable launch vehicle - the Delta IV.’
      • ‘Since January, eight spacecraft were deployed on seven expendable launch vehicles.’
      • ‘It was not supposed to do anything that an expendable launcher would not do.’
      • ‘Most are expendable packages attached to helium or hydrogen-filled weather balloons and only a small number of the sensors are retrieved.’
      • ‘He argued that expendable vehicles are already called upon to launch high-value unmanned payloads.’
      • ‘If approved, the telescope mission could be ready for launch in 2014, on board a large expendable rocket.’
      • ‘The vast majority is taken by expendable launch vehicles.’
      • ‘This forced commercial satellites onto expendable launch vehicles, which had a higher risk of failure than the relatively safe shuttle.’
      • ‘The orbital space plane will initially launch on an expendable vehicle and provide rescue capability for at least four crew members.’
      • ‘Because it was easier to adapt existing military missiles, which are designed for a single flight, most launchers have been expendable.’
      • ‘The remote-controlled vehicle is designed to be expendable, carries its own warhead, and uses cheaper components.’
      • ‘The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled for launch in 2010 aboard an expendable launch vehicle.’
      • ‘Is it more economical and practical to have reusable launchers or low-cost expendable launchers?’
      • ‘Under the hood, all original T-Bird parts were used in the restorations except for expendable items like the carburetor and the battery.’
      • ‘The workshop will address system studies and technology developments for future European expendable launchers and reusable launch vehicles.’
      • ‘Which type of launcher can best meet these criteria: expendable or reusable?’
      • ‘If the launching vehicle is an expendable rocket, the process is somewhat less complex.’
      • ‘As disastrous as the space shuttle destruction was, it resulted in reviving America's expendable launch vehicle industry.’
      • ‘One of the most important decisions to be made is whether Europe's new launchers will be expendable or reusable.’